As befits a Gdańsk girl (not in the first line, but let’s not go into details!), I have my memories of Kubicki restaurant in Gdańsk. It was one of the first places I visited and I still remember the delicious herring accompanied by a small shot of chilled vodka. In case you are not familiar with this place: it is one of the oldest restaurants in Gdańsk. In 2018 Kubicki celebrated its centenary!
This place is a must-see on the map of Gdańsk, together with the Crane or the Neptune Fountain. Its advantages are its history and location – a beautiful view of the Motława river, a bit off of the Długie Pobrzeże, usually flooded with tourists (which is a great attribute for an inhabitant of the Tricity). Last, but not least – the kitchen, which has been cared for by chef Damian Mazurowski for 8 years.
The menu of the restaurant is a nod towards the former card. One of the signatory dishes is the pork knuckle, prepared according to the recipe of the restaurant’s former chef. I imagine that this flavour will take us back in time to Kubicki, as known from the old photos hanging on the walls of the restaurant. I’ll leave the meat to the amateurs of this particular food. I believe what I’ve heard: that the pork knuckle melts in the mouth and is sensational.
Herring on new potato – specialties on the menu of Kubicki restaurant
I start the feast with a delicate herring with new potatoes (no vodka this time, it’s way before noon).
Then I try the “chłodnik”, a cold soup. This is a soup that shows the skills of the chef, his approach to cooking. This soup is a true piece of art and makes a small show because it is served smoked. The soup is light, but it has a pronounced flavour: not too sour, not too sweet.
What captivated me is the addition of smoked goose meat. The meat accent in this soup is a novelty for the modern palates, while it was a constant element of cold soup recipes in the past. So we can safely say that this is a nod to the past tradition, but served in a modern way.
Retro flavors in a modern anturage – Kubicki restaurant
The main course is so beautiful that it is a pity to demolish this composition. So I take a lot of pictures and only then can I try it with a clear conscience. Ladies and gentlemen, on my plate I have Polish sturgeon baked in boletus powder, with mashed potatoes and gherkin sauce. Preparing sturgeon, a noble fish and quite popular in old Polish cookbooks, is not easy. Due to its quite intense flavour and meat texture, it requires pronounced sides, so gherkin sauce (also a nod to the past) is perfect for the job.
While studying the menu, it was hard for me to make a choice, because I was tempted by everything, so I took advantage of Chef Damian’s suggestions. I like smuggling the flavours of pre-war cuisine and combining them with dishes that are close to our palates. This kind of fun requires the chef’s skill and fantasy, which can be seen from the first menu item: homemade pasta with crayfish necks and spinach. This is a dish that I dream about at night. Or duck in malaga sauce – I’m not aware of any other place in Tri-City that would serve this classic of pre-war cuisine.
Grandmother’s secrets and the artistry of traditional cooking
The menu contains permanent menu items to which guests return, while seasonal ingredients appear in the form of inserts. And this is what I like the most. There is nothing sadder than my favourite dish disappearing from a restaurant! The menu is the result of Damian Mazurowski’s work and interests. “It is no coincidence that I am here (in Kubicki): it is my conscious choice. I have always been interested in traditional Polish cuisine, the flavours we have,” says Damian Mazurowski. “In search of inspiration, I reach for old cook books, my experience and fantasy, but I draw a lot from people. I love talking about the kitchen with older people, pinching secret grandma recipes and kitchen tricks.
If someone thought I left without dessert, they were wrong! I tried delicious ice cream (it’s my favourite flavour, so they stole my heart) with a pickled plum. It offers a spicy aftertaste. However, strawberries baked in meringue, or the chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce also tried my patience…
Finally, a word about liquors, because although I was good with water, a lot of local liquors, from Goldwasser to tinctures made on the spot, are waiting for alcohol amateurs. The way I see it: you visit Kubicki on a warm summer afternoon and gaze at the Motława River and try local specialties. A pint of cold, local beer is welcome!